Cooking Cranberries….

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, September 30, 2012


When I cook cranberries, I always think of my friend Veronica.  She taught me how she makes them and it’s so simple. 

A bag of cranberries (I buy multiples at Christmas and freeze them)
1 cup Splenda
1/8-1/4 cup water

Simmer until they pop, then squeeze in the juice of an orange.  So easy, and so good!

We’re having them tonight, using a bag of frozen berries from the freezer…

Mom’s Goulash, simply the best!

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, September 26, 2012


You have to serve this with mashed potatoes and corn, it’s just the way it’s done.  Trust me, the mashed potatoes make it wonderful.  This is so simple, a recipe from my childhood, back in the days when goulash was a staple in our diet.  It’s fast, quick, and the perfect food on a cool fall evening.

1 lb. ground round/sirloin/chuck – whatever you want to use works
1/2 bell pepper, finely diced
1 onion (1/2 cup) finely diced

Brown the above, season with salt and quite a bit of ground pepper, about 1/2 teaspoon.

Meanwhile cook elbow macaroni or your pasta of choice to el dente, I use about a half a pound of pasta, but you can add more if you like.

Meanwhile open a large can (28 oz.) of crushed tomatoes, put in a saucepan, add the drained meat mixture, add the drained pasta and simmer for just a few minutes.

AND, add sugar.  I use Splenda, about 1/4 of a cup, because we like it sweet.

That’s all there is to it, I eat it like I did as a child, with a scoop of mashed potatoes in the center of my plate and the goulash spooned over the top.

Mother always added the corn directly in her goulash mixture, I cooked mine separately and put it on the side.

And don’t turn your nose up at the potatoes, I know it’s two starches, but this is comfort food people, and trust me, you will be comforted after you eat this.

Of course, real mashed potatoes are always best, but instant potatoes work, or those great Bob Evans refrigerated ones.  Just fix whatever, and enjoy, your family will love this!

Some people add herbs and garlic to their goulash, but to me it’s best just to keep it simple with the green pepper and onions.  It’s peasant food, comfort food, warm memories, and delish!  Pinky swear it is…



Pioneer Woman’s Pasta Primavera

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, September 09, 2012

Photograph from Land O’lakes & Pioneer Woman

Pioneer Woman makes the most amazing looking Pasta Primavera.  I found her recipe on the Land O’Lakes site.  You all might want to look at this awesome recipe for deadent veggies and pasta.  What could be better?

Here’s the link…

World’s Best UNFRIED Pork Chops

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, September 05, 2012


These pork chops are just wonderful, and they’re healthy! 

I have to give my son, Ryan, a world class cook, by the way, credit for making these chops.  You simply brown well on one side on your stovetop over medium heat, flip them and immediately put them uncovered in a preheated 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.  I use convection heat and it takes about twenty minutes for chops that are 3/4 inch thick.  Add another 5 minutes or so if you don’t use convection.

The secret to this is to blot the chops first with paper towel to remove moisture, so they “fry” in the oven.  I love to use a grill pan, as the chops sit above any liquid that collects and gets the great grill marks that everybody likes.

We are huge fans of Paul Prudhomme’s Meat Magic to season chops and chicken.  It’s been around since the 80’s, available in your spice aisle and it’s unbeatable!  Add lots of fresh cracked pepper and you’ve got an awesome dish.

Spray the skillet with Pam, you don’t need any oil, and these chops are low in calories without sacrificing flavor.  I also make boneless chicken breasts this way, it works equally well.

I sometimes use Soul Seasoning for these chops with excellent results, too.  The brand is Spice Islands, and it’s also in the spice aisle.  I found this recipe to make your own Soul Seasoning, I would think it would be really good and inexpensive to make.  Check it out here and see what you think.

~ Jan

Brown Sugar Blend Splenda Substitute

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, September 05, 2012


You can save a massive amount of calories with this substitute, I can’t wait to try it!

I was reading Jamie, at Your Lighter Side, this morning, my favorite Low Carb Blog, and she is posting a substitution for Brown Sugar Blend Splenda, which I seem to never have on hand when I need it.

Her alternative looks pretty good, and so many less calories than the Blend.  If I’m correct, I believe that in the past I made a copycat Brown Sugar Blend Splenda, which was half brown sugar, half Splenda, but Jamie is saying that you can add one Tablespoon of molasses to every cup of “your favorite sweetener” which for me is Splenda, mash it with a fork to incorporate molasses and you have a wonderful substitute.

And one tablespoon of molasses is 58 calories, however, 1/2 cup of brown sugar is 415 calories, and that is a HUGE savings.

Sounds good to me, I know what I’m going to be trying in the kitchen today!

 You can read her entire article here…